VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Delegations from the Vatican and from Vietnam reported continued progress in discussions between their two countries, a Vatican press statement said.
“The two sides agreed to maintain constructive dialogue, in a spirit of goodwill with a view to increasing mutual understanding and further promoting relations between the two sides,” said the statement, released Oct. 26.
The two official delegations met at the Vatican Oct. 24-26 for the sixth meeting of the Vietnam-Holy See joint working group. The last working group meeting was in Hanoi in 2014.
Marked by “an atmosphere of cordiality, frankness and mutual respect,” the meeting saw both sides acknowledge “the progress in Vietnam-Holy See relations, including regular contacts and consultations, the exchange of high-level delegations and frequent pastoral visits to Vietnam by the papal representative and non-resident special envoy, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.”
While the two countries do not have full diplomatic relations, Vietnam’s agreement to let the Vatican name a non-resident papal representative to the country in 2011 was seen as a major step in an ongoing process to normalize relations.
The appointment came after landmark high-level meetings such as Pope Benedict XVI’s meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet in 2009 and his 2007 meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. That meeting marked the first time a prime minister from Vietnam’s communist government met a pope and top officials from the Vatican Secretariat of State.
Talks and relations between the Vatican and Vietnam were strengthened further when Pope Benedict met the head of Vietnam’s communist party, Nguyen Phu Trong, and top party and government officials in January 2013; it was the first time a pope had met with the general secretary of the nation’s Communist Party.
At the end of the 2016 working group meeting, the Vatican statement said that “the Holy See reaffirms that Pope Francis has a keen interest in the development of Vietnam-Holy See relations and it looks forward to the continued and invaluable contribution offered by the Catholic community, in cooperation with other actors in Vietnamese society, and in accordance with the applicable laws, to national development and the promotion of the common good.”
The Vietnamese delegation, it said, reiterated Vietnam’s “consistent and practical improvement of the legal framework and policies on the promotion and protection of people’s freedom of belief and religion” as well as the country’s “encouragement and continued facilitation of the active engagement of the Catholic Church in Vietnam” in promoting socioeconomic development in the nation.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Thieves take sacred objects, cash in break-in at famous Israeli church
NEXT: Ecumenical papal trip also will show pain of division, Lutheran says
Share this story